Saturday, March 6, 2010

Zoom Zoom

I have fixed my issue with my batteries heaters, I just replaced the +5v regulator with one that works from -40C to 90C. My batteries now maintain a solid 76F, and they only cycle on for 30 minutes every 4-5 hours at night, and don't turn on at all during the sunny days.

My Zilla has sprung an unexpected problem, though. If I am cruising, then decide to go full throttle (100% duty cycle) the Zilla get's a fault and shuts down. Apparently this is a problem that was found recently with low voltage EVs and the Zilla, and there is a fix that I should be getting in the coming week or so. For now, all I have to do it set my Motor Voltage less than my Battery Voltage and it's all good because the controller will never hit 100% duty cycle that way. And during my drive today it worked great, and I suffered no performance decrease at all.

I have been slowly working my batteries into existence. I have been using test routes, ranging from 4.0 miles and increasing that and now I go for 12 miles at a time. I have found that two batteries are much lower than the others under load, but I have been working on them. What is happening is two batteries would get to the point when they would go under 10 volts under heavy load, at the 3.8 mile mark. Then I did some battery charging, equalizing and magic and they didn't complain until 8.8 miles, then 10 miles, now 12.2 miles. I believe they need to be broken in slowly, so I have been adjusting my driving to help out. Each drive gets better and better, and I am guessing that I should have my full range in a week or so of these break in drives.

According to EV America, letting the flooded batteries rest for a weekend affects their performance, and if they rest for a week you have to break them in again slowly.

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